02 12 / 2013
You may have noticed a new BI Mobile HD update over the weekend, and if you upgraded you will notice that it is mostly is about iOS7. There were a number of bug fixes to make sure things look and work correctly with iOS7, but there is one cool feature you may not notice out of the gate:
You can now open BI Mobile App Designer content in the HD app. So why is this cool?
- Users can now consume ‘traditional’ dashboards along side purposeful apps.
- Users can launch MAD Apps with a native client instead of in the browser.
- Your IT organization can create a secure Mobile HD distribution using the BI Mobile HD Security Toolkit, and MAD Apps can be consumed using the secure client.
So how does it work?
- Open MAD Apps just like you would a dashboard (search or browse).
- Favorite MAD Apps and have them displayed as a favorite next to other MAD Apps or ‘traditional’ dashboards.
- Mobile HD toolbars get out of the way when you open a MAD App. Just tap the status bar or swipe from the left to get the HD menus back.
05 11 / 2013
I often hear this statement from customers:
I am planning on deploying the BI Mobile HD application but I want to make it really easy for our end users and I don’t want them to have to type any server details.
So here is a quick lesson on how to do just this. Our end goal is to get to an email that looks something like this:
So how do we get here. The first part is easy, get your users to install our application from the Apple App Store. Really don’t over think this, your users already know how to do this. In fact, their 3 year old kids know how to do this.
OK you can also make it really easy and just provide the link.
When opened on the device the user will see something like this, and they will have to tap install (mine says open because it is already installed).
Now comes the part where you will have to do a bit of work, the configuration. For this you need to create an XML file that describes the server connections you want and some key settings.
<string>Friendly Server Name</string>
<string>Friendly Server Name 2</string>
Does it look scary? It is not, it is really 2 sections and here is a link to a sample you can download that has detailed comments.
To turn this file into a link that a user can tap you need to first host this on some sort of HTTP server. Dropbox and other services work fine as long as their are no redirects and no ‘special’ file viewers. For Dropbox you need to put it in your public folder and use the public link. Also make sure the link will be accessible on the users device.
Once this is done you need to form the device URL and send it to the user as a link. To do this you need to prefix your XML file link with the following.
The the entire link would look something like this:
A few caveats for now:
- This only adds servers, and is keyed off the host name so if the user already has a server with the same host name it will not add the server.
- The XML file must be hosted on a http server you cannot point to a file system.
- The URL to the XML file must be accessible on the device where the user is launching this link from.
Good Luck and Happy Deployment!!
30 10 / 2013
23 10 / 2013
If your mobile BI strategy does not include the phone it is time to re-think things.
I know that is a bold statement but it is simply true. In working with customers every demo and most rollouts are focused on the tablet, but it seems to be for the wrong reasons. Most of the time the focus is on the tablet because it demos really well and visualizations are great on the full 9” display.
This, however, does not mean you should forget about the device that is truly mobile (the phone). Lets just put aside the numbers and think about these facts.
- No one leaves without their phone - You are simply way more likely to ditch the tablet depending on where you go.
- Most tablets only have WiFi, so are they really mobile? The phone is almost always connected. http://www.localytics.com/blog/2012/only-6-of-ipad-app-sessions-on-cellular-connection/
- Many of your favorite apps don’t have tablet versions leaving you with only the browser.
I know there are probably 100 blogs that point the other way, and I am not saying you should stop delivering BI on the tablet, but at least stop ignoring the phone.
So take a look at these reports (actual content) and tell me your users don’t need this…
18 10 / 2013
So before I let you know what it is I need to give you some backstory. This goes way back to early Windows day. From the start I have always been trying to organize my apps (programs). In early Windows it was Norton Desktop then is was constantly managing my Start Menu and eventually this spread to bookmark madness.
At some point search engines and browser bars came along and they worked so well that you really stopped worrying about bookmarks because search can just find what you need. At this point on my desktop I really don’t care where my apps (programs) are; key ones are in my dock or page one of the start screen, and for others, I just use search to open them.
But the on my mobile device things have been a bit of a mess. Until recently I had pages of apps and folders (100’s of apps). Many of these I hardly used but did not want to uninstall; and when I needed one that I did not use often I would have search each screen and folder until I found it. In iOS 7 they made a simple change to spotlight search making is accessible from any page with just a ‘pull down’ on the screen.
This has completely changed the way I use my phone and tablet. First off no folders on the first 2 pages, just the apps I use most often. Really the apps on my first page cover 90% of my use, and I rarely have to search. For other apps, new ones, and ones I rarely use; they just go anywhere and when I need them I just pull down and search. What a relief to not have to deal with shaking icons, folder naming, and trying to move items around only to realize I just have too many apps.
This also applies to how I get to my BI content. I use search all the time and really never browse for content. I am often connecting to servers that have, frankly, out of control catalogs, and this make it even more valuable. Really, the same concept as above applies. Key reports I use all the time will be in ‘Recent’ or ‘Favorites’, and aside from that I will just search.
11 10 / 2013
If you were at Oracle Open World BI Mobile App Designer may be old news, but either way you need to read on.
So here is the scenario; you are BI author and you have built some great dashboards and maybe you are even deploying those dashboards using the BI Mobile HD app.
Now you want to build a purposeful mobile app to meet the specific needs of some of your BI consumers, but custom, Objective-C, Java, HTML5; OUCH, not quite ready for that. Well, give BI Mobile App Designer a try and leave all that crazy coding to us.
With the trial edition you can give this simple authoring and mobile deployment experience a try on your desktop and device prior to getting IT and other approvals. This way you know the amount of work it takes and the types of app you can create prior to doing a full deployment.
So why not give it a try!
26 9 / 2013
Did you know that using the BI Mobile HD security toolkit you can ‘code’ your organizations servers so that end users do not have to worry about setting them up manually.
Look it is super easy to for end users to add a new server to our iPhone and iPad application but why not make is so they just do not have to worry about it.
Keep in mind this requires some Xcode skills and you have to be deploying our application in your companies enterprise application store.
Here is the code for the method:
// To add a server you can do the following: [super createServer:@”<Provide server name>"
username:@”<Provide username or blank (user will be prompted)>”password:@”<Provide password or blank (user will be prompted>” setAsDefaultServer:NO];
For more details refer to the appendix in our Building the BI Mobile HD application for enterprise deployment guide.
23 9 / 2013
A lot of us, especially those in the business world and those born before 1990 still cling to the desktop; and when in the office I use my laptop most of the day. However there are some specific things I would rather do on my mobile phone regardless what situation I am in. Here are my top 5:
Honestly, I rarely need directions sitting at my desk and when you combine location services, bluetooth car integration, and the portability of a phone it is no brainer. I personally switch between Google Maps and Apple Maps (it seems to work fine where I live).
Discovering Where to Eat:
This is a pretty broad category that includes discovery, ratings, and reservations as far as I am concerned. Between Yelp, UrbanSpoon, and OpenTable I can pretty much do what I need. My options here are using these apps on my mobile phone or asking friends and co-workers, I really hate deciding…
Lists are a big part of my work and personnel life and I have tried just about every task management program out there. I have found that I use 2 types of lists; good old pencil a paper and now WunderList. WunderList gets a most of its’ use on my mobile phone but I do love that they have versions for just about every platform so when I am at my desk I can easily and seamlessly manage my day. There are a bunch of other great task management apps out there and it seems to me to be a very personal choice.
I will admit, I still use my favorite pencil pretty often.
Facebook, Twitter, Path, Google+, it really does not matter these apps are used on my mobile phone at least 95% of the time. I don’t know too many folks who pull out their laptop do do a check-in or to post pictures.
So that is my top five and most of those are pretty ‘consumer’ but what about business? Well until recently most of our BI or Analytics was trapped on the desktop and tablet. With the re-introduction of BI Mobile HD on the iPhone and with the launch of BI Mobile App Designer I think you will start to see a trend towards mobile phones in the business data space.
Why not have quick and easy access to key analytics or metrics that drive your business?
19 9 / 2013
Always inspiring to see how designers and developers are simplifying visualizing stats on mobile apps. Big Data Small Screen means lots of design innovations!
19 9 / 2013